Douglas Holtz-Eakin & Paul Howard, RealClearPolitics

Price Controls Fail Medicare - 2/29/12

Policymakers have responded to Medicare’s rising costs by imposing price controls on providers, a strategy that hasn’t solved the program’s underlying problems. Indeed, doctors and hospitals responded to price controls by increasing their volume of services, or providing more heavily reimbursed services. Real Medicare reform should start with a premium-support program for seniors based on the successful competitive-bidding... More

Mark Niquette, Bloomberg

Few Answers in City Bankruptcies - 2/28/12

While an improving U.S. economy is helping boost revenue for states, cities face declining aid and a drop in the property-tax take since the housing crash. Cities under fiscal stress are trying to avoid bankruptcy and bolster their finances, including Pontiac, Mi., which abolished its police and Cleveland, which demolished thousands of condemned structures to preserve property values. Such actions aren’t always sufficient.... More

Nicole Gelinas, National Review

Santorum on Housing - 2/28/12

In the economic agenda he announced today, Rick Santorum says that to “revive” housing, he would “phase out within several years Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.” He would also “allow families whose homes are ‘underwater’ to deduct losses from the sale of their home in order to better get a fresh... More

Peter Wood et al, Minding The

Federal Aid and College Tuition - 2/27/12

It's called "the Bennett Hypothesis," and it explains--or tries to explain--why the cost of college lies so tantalizingly out of reach for so many. Here's an updated version of it.

Josh Barro, Manhattan Institute

Sensible Corporate Tax Reform - 2/27/12

President Obama’s corporate tax reform plan starts with a few, broad principles—the corporate tax should have a lower rate and a broader base, and should cause fewer distortions between different kinds of economic activities. These are good principles; for the most part, the plan sticks to them. In some components, though, the plan goes astray, creating or expanding tax preferences and introducing new... More

Steve Malanga, NY Post

Jersey's Killer Stimulus - 2/24/12

In his budget address on Tuesday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie proposed cutting income taxes to make the state more competitive in the race for jobs and investment. But even as Christie struggles to improve the business environment, Democrats and some Republicans in Trenton are working to undermine it with a proposal to boost the state’s minimum hourly wage.


Michael Mandel, The Atlantic

What App Economy Teaches Us - 2/24/12

The lessons from an infant industry, including the power of cooperation and importance of regulating with a light touc.

Donald Boudreaux, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Ode to the Middleman - 2/23/12

You hear them daily: advertising pitchmen exclaiming on radio and TV that this jewelry store or that furniture retailer "saves you money by bypassing the middleman!" Seems sensible, doesn't it? But if middlemen only raise retailers' costs, why does anyone ever use such parasites to begin with?


Anne Kates Smith, Chicago Tribune

Overhauling Public Pensions - 2/23/12

Reality checks led to a record number of pension-plan changes in 41 states in 2010 and 2011, as lawmakers tried to patch the cracks in the public nest egg. Expect more (and more-aggressive) moves to come.

Tom Mooney, Providence Journal

Bankruptcy: Stigma or Salvation? - 2/20/12

Experiences of cities in California and Pennsylvania offer insight as others confront municipal insolvency.

Charlotte Allen, Minding The

Community Colleges: A Good Investment? - 2/20/12

President Obama's fiscal 2013 budget contains an $8 billion program to encourage community colleges, in partnerships with employers, to train about two million workers for future jobs. There is a problem, however: community colleges have a poor track record in keeping those students around until graduation with any sort of... More

Economist Magazine

To Big Not To Fail - 2/20/12

Flaws in the confused, bloated law passed in the aftermath of America’s financial crisis become ever more apparent.

The American

The Sinatra of Social Science - 2/20/12

Pat Moynihan once encountered Nixon in the hall of the White House and said ‘Mr. president, James Q. Wilson is the smartest man in the United States. The president of the United States should pay attention to what he has to say.’

Jeffrey Rogers Hummel, The American

An Upside to Default? - 2/17/12

There is a good chance that the U.S. government will be forced to default on its explicit and implicit promises within the next few decades. Fortunately, the state government experience of the 1840s suggests that this may provide the best and most durable long-run solution.

Charles Calomiris, National Affairs

How To Regulate Bank Capital - 2/17/12

What would an approach to regulating bank capital that took these various concerns into account look like? Such an approach would have to involve three crucial elements: establishing an appropriate structure and level of required capital; implementing complementary measures to strengthen or reinforce the requirement; and phasing in the new requirement predictably and gradually to avoid sudden disruptions of bank-credit... More

Josh Barro, Forbes

Where's the Buffett Rule? - 2/16/12

It comes as some surprise that the President’s budget, released this week, doesn’t contain a Buffett Rule.

James Copeland, Washington Examiner

Politics Behind STOCK Act - 2/16/12

The fact that we should want our public officials to be bound by the same insider trading laws that govern those in the private sector hardly means that we should support any and all pieces of legislation that would achieve that effect.

Jacqueline Leo, FiscalTimes

The One Percent Workforce - 2/14/12

The most consistent predictors of children’s academic achievement and social adjustment are parent expectations of the child’s academic attainment and satisfaction with their child’s education at school. Parents of high-achieving students set higher standards for their children’s educational activities than parents of low-achieving students."

Tyler Cowen and Kevin Grier , Grantland

The End of NFL's Business Model - 2/13/12

The NFL is done for the year, but it is not pure fantasy to suggest that it may be done for good in the not-too-distant future. How might such a doomsday scenario play out and what would be the economic and social consequences?

Shikha Dalmia, Bloomberg

Adding Up the Detroit Bailout - 2/13/12

As President Barack Obama campaigns to keep his job, he will spin the bailout of Detroit as a success story that saved millions of American jobs. But taxpayers should bear in mind that the hit to their wallets will be substantial and will probably grow in years to come.

Charlotte Allen, Minding The

The Academic Proletariat - 2/11/12

Undergraduate students, their parents, and the taxpayers who subsidize public education spend large sums of money on what they imagine to be a high-quality academic experience for young people. What those students often get, at least for the first two years and sometimes for all four, are behemoth classes taught, sometimes indifferently, by poorly paid, minimally supervised, time-harassed, and even burned-out "contingent"... More

John Merline, Investors Business Daily

Manufacturing Revival - 2/10/12

Data show that, despite the picture painted by politicians, manufacturing is a success story at the moment.


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E.J. McMahon, Newsday

NY: Left Behind - 2/10/12

January's stronger-than-expected employment numbers are fueling hopes that the economic recovery may finally be picking up steam. But even if the national jobs data keep improving, New York State has a rougher road ahead, thanks to what some are describing as an "emasculated" Wall Street.

Nicole Gelinas, City Journal

Goodbye to Free Market? - 2/09/12

Western governments have compounded the economic crisis by rejecting the one force that can end it.

James Dorn, Forbes

The Limits of Monetary Policy - 2/09/12

Rather than engaging in pure monetary policy to ensure long-run price stability and prevent erratic changes in nominal GDP, the U.S. central bank has engaged in fiscal policy by allocating credit to favored groups and thus politicized monetary policy.

Nicole Gelinas and E.J. McMahon, New York Post

Privatize Ground Zero - 2/08/12

The governors of New York and New Jersey should let real estate firms bear the risk of reconstruction and leasing the new towers, which are currently draining taxpayer monies.

Avik Roy, Forbes

Conservatives and the Health Mandate - 2/08/12

The individual mandate’s provenance is more complicated than most people think.

Arnold Kling, Wall Street Journal Europe

Who Creates Sustainable Jobs? - 2/06/12

I believe that the process of creating employment is explained not by the theories of Keynes, but rather by the theories of Adam Smith and David Ricardo. From the perspective of Smith and Ricardo, real jobs emerge in the context of patterns of sustainable specialization and trade.

Naomi Schaefer Riley, Wall Street Journal

The University of Adam Smith - 2/06/12

In the scramble for money and prestige, colleges lose their focus on education. A business executive thinks he has a solution.

Aaron Kuriloff and Darrell Preston, Bloomberg Markets

Super Bowl Tackles Taxpayers - 2/02/12

While Super Bowl fans are riding zip lines through downtown Indianapolis this week in the runup to the NFL's championship game, taxpayers are digging deeper in their pockets to pay for the stadium where the game will be played.

Shikha Dalmia, Reason

Flawed Case for Insourcing - 2/02/12

Foreign-owned companies employ close to 5.5 million Americans and generate about $3.1 trillion in economic value. Does Obama want their CEOs to fold their businesses up and return home to do their patriotic duty?

Campbell Harvey, TheStreet

Europe's Biggest Loser - 2/02/12

A massive amount of private savings in Germany is effectively "invested" in the ECB. We all know that the ECB's risk has mushroomed. The balance sheet has expanded to 22% of eurozone GDP; they have increased duration; they have lowered the quality of collateral; and they hold, by my estimates, three-quarters of a trillion euros of peripheral exposure. It is close to 1 trillion euros if we include the near-peripheral... More